MIDEAST 200 - Introduction to the Middle East
Section: 001
Term: FA 2018
Subject: Middle East Studies (MIDEAST)
Department: LSA Near Eastern Studies
Requirements & Distribution:
Credit Exclusions:
No credit granted to students who have taken NEAREAST 100.
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:

The Middle East is a larger-than-life in the western imagination. Nearly every news-source peddles stories about the Middle East daily. Our depictions of the Middle East are not only omnipresent, but they’re contradictory: It’s the cradle of civilizations and yet in need of civilizing; It’s the home of utopia (the Promised Land) and the world’s dystopia (endless war, sectarianism, refugees). It’s the birthplace of writing, the first cities, trade route, and major religions, as well as the home of ziggurats, pyramids, mummies and the first farms. Yet the world’s breadbasket is often seen as the world’s basket case, a hotbed of menacing terrorists, pirates, dictators, and unstable men. The paradoxes of the Middle East are intertwined with the paradoxes of the west. – If the popular depictions of the Middle East are larger-than-life, this course asks what is life like in the region? This course introduces students to the complexities of social life, using the perspective of today’s scholarly disciplines, such as anthropology, archaeology, linguistics, as well as religious and literary studies. And we employ what scholars use to discover new knowledge: evidence from archives and archaeological digs, iconic and textual sources, geophysical material, chemical and physical forensics, and even human genetics. And whenever possible, we will foreground voices from the Middle East for each period in history to address questions of social organization and diversity, namely issues pertaining to gender and sexuality spectrums, ethnicity, profession and class inequality, scapegoating, divine-human as well as animal-human relations.

Course Requirements:

In-Class Discussion of Readings; 6 Research Questions (100-300 words); 5 Response Papers (300-500 words); 3 Quizzes; Analysis Paper (900-1200 words)

Intended Audience:

Undergraduate students

MIDEAST 200 - Introduction to the Middle East
Schedule Listing
001 (LEC)
TuTh 11:30AM - 1:00PM
002 (DIS)
F 9:00AM - 10:00AM
003 (DIS)
F 11:00AM - 12:00PM
004 (DIS)
F 1:00PM - 2:00PM
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